Saturday, January 28, 2017

Above and Beyond

Tim Hadley is a principal in the Pekin Community School District in Packwood, Iowa.  Recently Jackson, one of the students at his school, shaved his head in support of his grandpa Rick who has cancer.  After arriving at school the next day, some of the students made comments about Jackson’s appearance and made fun of him.  Instead of just punishing the students who spoke disrespectfully, Mr. Hadley took the opportunity to teach all of the students the importance of treating others with respect.  The students gathered for an assembly and sat on the floor.  Principal Hadley explained to the students that he had heard of the unkind remarks that had been made to Jackson about his shaved head.  He asked the students how many knew someone who had cancer and almost every student raised their hand.  Mr. Hadley then made a point of acknowledging Jackson and commending him for honoring his grandpa in such a special way.  After speaking on the importance of respecting others, he called Jackson up and asked him to shave his head, too.  At the conclusion of the assembly, the principal reminded the students and teachers that in their school, “We’re family.  We support each other.”  Tim Hadley went above and beyond to make a young man feel valued and to teach his students a life lesson in a way that will not soon be forgotten.

Linda is the Community Relations Director at Colonial Oaks, in Pasadena, where my mom lives.  She is also a member of our home church and a family friend.  After a month in the hospital and rehab, Mom had progressed enough from her strokes to be able to return to her assisted living “Home.”  Due to her limitations, Mom needed to be moved to another area of the facility.  Knowing that it might take some adjusting, it was recommended that family give the staff three to four days to help Mom get acclimated before we came to visit her.  I am continuing to learn that when you love someone you need to be willing to do the hard things, not necessarily what you would choose to do, if that is what is best for them.  Mom was transported back to Colonial Oaks on Thursday morning and taken to her new room.  On Friday morning, as well as other times, Linda has checked on Mom and thoughtfully texted pictures of her smiling, happy, and participating in activities, knowing that would ease our hearts and minds.  Linda and the personnel have gone above and beyond what they had to do to love and care for Mom, as well as her daughters, during these days.

The late Christian humorist Grady Nutt reminded us that going above and beyond, going the second mile, is “That spirit that opens men to the grace of God.”  It’s time to lace up the shoes, heart, mind, and spirit and be ready to go above and beyond what is expected.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

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